A lot of people today know the legendary Audi Quattro or the Subaru WRX as being the greatest rally cars for the road, but there’s one better. Much better.
This is one of Lancia’s contributions to rally, and a good one at that. The 1982 037 Stradale is arguably one of the greatest rally cars ever made. With only 207 street legal versions made, it’s a very rare car to see, I have definitely never seen one but have one on Forza Horizon 3 and it is always my go to car.
In terms of looks, it does not get much prettier than this. I’m sorry but I challenge you to show me a more beautiful car. It’s not stunning by coincidence however, as in order to finalise this car, Lancia had help from some of the best. Abarth, Dallara and Pininfarina, the three Italian amigos helped to make this car.
The 037 Stradale had a mid-engine, rear wheel drive layout which was the perfect combination to just scrape past the Audi Quattro in terms of rally performance (but I think it’s better in every way). Despite only winning one manufacturers title in the 1983 World Rally Championship it is still considered one of the greats. But it was the last RWD car to win a WRC manufacturers championship, so that’s something.
Being a rally car however has its downsides as those 207 road legal ones would have been a nightmare to live with on the road but definitely worth the pain. In terms of engine, the 2.0L supercharged in-line four produces 205 horsepower and had a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds which doesn’t sound like a lot by today’s standards but was more than adequate back in the 80s. The car only weighed 960kg so the power was plenty to get it moving, to put that into a rather odd perspective, that’s around 11 kangaroo’s worth. Lancia were able to make the 037 so light by making the body form Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass.
You could also opt for the iconic rear wing which was often not opted for due to decreased lack in visibility but I would have gone for it anyway. It looks insane.
Now, the thing we can appreciate the most is the stunning crimson red paint which so many came with. If you didn’t get the red exterior and black interior combination on one of these you were mad. Its proper stunning. But the thing which excited me the most is that if I ever got the chance to see one, I would small it. I can imagine it has a fantastic rich smell of old Italian leather and fuel.
However, if you want one of these today, you can say goodbye to your mortgage as they are not cheap. Typically, if you can find one, a 1980s 037 Stradale goes for around £300,000. That’s silly money but I still know which one I would rather have between a Lamborghini Aventador S and this…I've thought about it and it's this.
To sum up, this car is reason today why so many of us like to slide around in RWD cars. This was the last car of its breed before AWD changed our lives forever. This is the true essence of rally and true driver involvement we will likely never see again.
What do you think of this? Is the 037 Stradale for you?